After reviewing the online sample ballots from other counties reported by Citizens Union, we noticed that of all the sample we were able to access, not a single additional county managed to bungle instruction (2) quite like New York City did. Instruction (2) of course, tells voters which oval they need to fill in to correctly cast their ballot.
On most of the sample ballots we reviewed, the language in instruction (2) was personalized by local boards to fit the design of their ballot. Several counties instruct voters to fill in the oval in the upper right corner. For counties which did not modify the State Board’s language, the ovals were in fact located “above or next to” the name of the candidate.
Meanwhile, as WNYC reported before Election Day, the City Board still believes that the instructions printed on the ballot were not technically wrong because “‘next to’ means ‘adjacent’ which can mean ‘below.’”
What is perhaps even worse is the City Board’s misguided belief that they were required by state law to include the incorrect language in the instruction in the privacy booths. As we blogged before, we have a very hard time believing the State Board would object to changing the language so that it would accurately reflect the ballot. We certainly have yet to hear any objections to the other counties who took the initiative and modified the language on the ballot instructions.
Below, you can view pdf versions of the sample ballots posted by counties we have been able to review so far. As soon as we are able to access more ballots, we will post them.
New York City